Complaints

Complaints procedure

It is my aim that clients will always have a high level of satisfaction with the advice and service received. However I recognise that from time to time matters may not go as smoothly as expected.   In such a situation, I would hope that through discussion I can understand and address your concerns.

If you have any complaint or concern I would hope that we can seek to resolve it using the following complaints procedure. 

Stage 1 – Initial Complaint and attempts to resolve informally

1.         You can notify me of any concern by telephone, e-mail or by letter. If you have not received an acknowledgement from me within 2 working days, please do check that I have received the message, since I would usually expect to acknowledge any complaint as soon as practicable after it has been received.

2.         Depending on the nature of the concern, we may then discuss the matter by telephone, e-mail or at a meeting. I would usually try to accommodate your preference in this regard and much of course may depend on the nature of the issue. I would ask you to assist me by letting me have any information which may be helpful for seeking to address the concern. We may need to gather information before having a discussion.

3.         It is hard to put a time limit on replies as each circumstance is different and some concerns can be relatively straightforward and some can be very time-consuming involving a number of issues and requiring a lot of investigation.  However I would always aim to deal with your complaint promptly.  I would usually expect to be able to provide a substantive discussion or response regarding the issue within 10 working days of your notifying me of the concern, but as indicated, it may be that this time frame will not always be appropriate. However I would always seek to provide you with an approximate time-scale for a substantive response and you may request one at any time.  

4.         It is hoped that through a series of discussions, correspondence or meetings we can resolve your concern to your satisfaction.

Stage 2 – Meeting and Decision regarding Complaint

5.         If your complaint is not resolved by initial discussions or communications I would usually request you to attend a meeting to discuss the matter. If you wish a meeting to take place regarding the issue at any stage, then again I would usually accommodate such a request unless there are exceptional circumstances.

6.         I would expect you to provide any information reasonably necessary to enable me to consider the complaint and I would expect you to try to obtain information from other persons where appropriate. You will appreciate that delay in providing information may affect the timing of any response.

7.         If after a meeting and any further discussions we have been unable to resolve the concern to your satisfaction, I will provide you with a “Formal Decision Regarding Complaint”.

Stage 3   - Final Decision Regarding Complaint

8.         Since I am a sole practitioner, there is no separate person available within my firm to hear any appeal.   If you remain dissatisfied with the decision set out in the Formal Decision Regarding Complaint, please write to me setting out why you disagree with the decision.  I will then review the decision in light of your further correspondence. It may be that we will have a further meeting before providing a final decision, but this will be considered in the circumstances to decide if a further meeting may be helpful. I will then provide you with a “Final Decision Regarding Complaint”. I would expect save in exceptional circumstances to provide a Final Decision within 10 working days of your request for me to reconsider the Decision.

9.         Except in exceptional circumstances, I would expect to be able to provide a Final Decision within 8 weeks of the initial complaint, though in many cases this would be earlier.

10.       Both parties should be courteous and professional when dealing with any complaint.

Legal Ombudsman

11.       If you consider that the process above has not been able to resolve your concern satisfactorily, you may raise your concern with the Legal Ombudsman. Contact details for the Legal Ombudsman are set out below. The Legal Ombudsman would not usually expect you to contact them until either I have provided a Final Decision Regarding Complaint or 8 weeks have elapsed from your making the complaint.  If you wish the Legal Ombudsman to consider your complaint, you should try to contact them within 6 months of your last contact with myself regarding the complaint. They also advise that you should contact them within 1 year of the complaint being made. However it is possible to make a complaint for up to 6 years from the date of act/omission, or three years from when you should have known about the complaint - save that the Legal Ombudsman will not usually accept complaints where the act or date of awareness is before 6 October 2010.

Website:            http://www.legalombudsman.org.uk/

E-mail:                enquiries@legalombudsman.org.uk

Telephone           0300 555 0333

[minicom call 0300 555 1777]

[overseas +44 121 245 3050]

Address               Legal Ombudsman, PO Box 15870, Birmingham, B30 9EB


This policy was last reviewed in January 2013. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you wish to check if there are any changes to this policy or the information set out above.
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